Why So Many People Wonder, “Are Highly Sensitive People Psychic?”

If you’re a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), you’ve probably had the experience of sensing something was about to happen before it did. Or of feeling people’s energy or mood. Maybe even when they themselves were unaware of their own emotions. It’s no surprise people have wondered if you, a Highly Sensitive Person, are psychic.

Whether you know about or utilize your sixth sense, it is there.

The reality is you don’t actually have bionic powers or microchip technology in your brain.

However, you DO have a superpower of exquisite attunement. (And that is just one of your superpowers.) The attunement is because, in part, of three particular sets of genes you have.

What is a Highly Sensitive Person?

The concept of a Highly Sensitive Person has gained traction since Dr Elaine Aron coined the term in the late 1990s.

Highly Sensitive People make up 15-20% of the population. The High Sensitivity trait is present in over 100 species.

HSPs are high in sensory-processing sensitivity, a personality trait. High levels of this trait lead to greater awareness of subtleties and deep processing of information. HSPs are more aware of external (noise, light) and internal (hunger, thoughts) stimuli than people without the trait are. Their inner world is filled with rich images, thoughts, and feelings.

Most HSPs have always felt a bit different, without knowing exactly why. Often it’s because of how strongly they feel things and how intuitive they are.

Highly Sensitive People are born with a unique nervous system. It’s configured differently than the nervous system of 80-85% of the population who aren’t Highly Sensitive. In fact, scientists have identified genes that explain behavior, physical reactions, and brain activation patterns specific to HSPs.

So your Highly Sensitive Person psychic brain IS wired in a way that’s essentially a sixth sense.

Brain regions involved in awareness, empathy, and self-other processing are more easily and deeply activated than the brain regions are of people without the High Sensitivity trait.

HSPs essentially feel and integrate sensory information in a way that leads to a high degree of attunement to others and to the environment. Due to their wiring, HSPs feel, think, love, and process life around them very intensely.

This sixth sense is why so many people perceive you to be psychic. You are operating on a higher frequency. You pick up on way more than do the 80-85% of people who do not have the High Sensitivity trait.

A sixth sense/”being psychic” means different things.

There are lots of misconceptions about being ‘psychic’.

For example, many people think being psychic means you’re able to predict the future. True, “fortune telling” is one example of a psychic ability.

But so are:

  • Being aware of energy
  • Being intuitive
  • Feeling others’ emotions
  • Detecting lies

Highly Sensitive People may seem psychic because they can sense or even at times feel the energy or vibe of others. For instance, HSPs are better than non-HSPs at distinguishing between “good” guys and “bad guys”. In real life and in movies. (That does not mean the accuracy rate is 100%!)

Many HSPs have stories illustrating their awareness of other’s energy.

Often such anecdotes occur when out in public, such as at a restaurant. HSPs feel the energy of others around them. Maybe for example they’re aware of tension between a couple, even though the couple appear chatty and happy. Or they can sense the sad energy behind a smiling face. Or that their server is having a bad night despite her cheery demeanor.

If someone is bad news, you know it. Or, if something doesn’t feel right for you, you probably know that, too.

Intuition is another version of a sixth sense. For instance, Highly Sensitive People have an inner knowing, an intuition, that is hard to explain. They know for example what changes in the environment someone needs to feel comfortable, whether it is dimming the lights or lowering the television volume.

HSPs are particularly intuitive when it comes to social and emotional cues. “Reading” people comes naturally.

HSP wiring is designed for self protection. It’s fine-tuned to notice and interpret what’s going on around you in a detailed and comprehensive way. The hyperawareness (combined with memory) likely contributes to intuition.

A third type of a sixth sense is the ability to feel other people’s emotions. This can make it tricky to know when the feelings are yours, and when they belong to the other person.

Though Highly Sensitive People are not psychic, a lot of rare abilities go along with the trait.

Many of which could be considered (part of) what being psychic means.

For example, HSPs tend to communicate well. They hear the words coming out of other people’s mouths AND are attuned to subtle gestures and tone.

Another example of why people wonder if Highly Sensitive People are psychic is HSPs’ natural ability to identify people’s display –or non-display– of feelings.

HSPs pick up on each sense: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.

Without effort, HSPs also tend to take in new information unconsciously, without being aware of what has been learned. This leads to the experiences of an HSP “just knowing” a solution to a problem. This “sixth sense” isn’t technically psychic, but it’s powerful.

One of the keys to thriving as a Highly Sensitive Person is to access and share the perks of your wiring. Your ability for attunement, aka ‘being psychic’, is one such example.

Being a Highly Sensitive Person has challenges associated with it. Constantly processing so much information (“overthinking”), and feeling emotions intensely (“too sensitive”) can be exhausting, for example.

There are also gifts that accompany your extraordinary brain. Your intuition is one of those gifts.

Whether you call your innate capacities a superpower, or not, they’re part of your nervous system. Why not leverage your natural HSP capacities to enrich your life with meaning and connection?

I am Dr Elayne Daniels, a MA based psychologist specializing in helping Highly Sensitive People access and embrace all of their exquisite wiring.

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